When you start managing someone, use your 1:1s in the first couple of weeks to understand their Context. Most new managers focus solely on getting upto speed on Content (projects, goals, milestones, blockers, etc.)
But by balancing Context & Content, you can help move the relationship much faster from Introduction to Rapport to Credibility to Trust.
Example 1:1 questions
1) Tell me your career story
This is a great way to get to know them better and understand their background, any notable achievements, setbacks and lessons learned.
2) What is working well for you here
Find out if there are any elements of the job that they are finding especially rewarding, or areas where they feel they are excelling.
3) What is not working well for you
Identify any areas of the job that are not going as well as they would like, and how might they be improved.
4) What type of work energizes you most
Discover which types of tasks excite, challenge, and energize them.
5) What type of work depletes your energy
Find out what type of work drains their energy, and how to avoid it.
6) How do you prefer to receive feedback
Learn what the employee’s preferred method of receiving feedback is, and how they would like it to be delivered.
7) What forms of recognition do you prefer the most / the least
Understand which forms of recognition the employee values the most and those they are not so keen on.
8) Tell me about your relationship with key team members
Get a better understanding of their working relationships with the other team members and any potential conflicts.
9) What is the most pressing issue I can assist you with
See if there is any burning issue that you can help them with, or provide support on.
Note that it takes most people some time to figure out an authentic answer to some of these questions. But by asking these questions as you are starting to work with them, you get the dialogue started, you activate self-inquiry around these topics, and most importantly, you remove any awkwardness around broaching these topics later on in the relationship.